Hunting Memories

Colorado Elk

We set out in September for our overnight, straight-through drive from California to Colorado. It was a beautiful day. As we left California the lightning storm of the year hit home and followed us toward our destination. Early dawn found us in Grand Junction, Colorado. After breakfast and stretching, we made the final leg to our destination near the Uncompahdre National Forest. The climb up to the lodge elevation was spectacular. High desert and canyons that transition to the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

We arrived and introduced ourselves to our guides and their mascot Kody, a golden Lab. After unpacking, it was off to fishing the stocked ponds. I personally caught two rainbow trout in excess of four pounds each. Boy, those fish can put on a good fight.

After lunch and resting we all went off to seek our prey. Hunting elk with a bow is an awesome feeling. The up-close hunting that is part of this just has an awesome feeling of being close to nature and oneself. The first two days of hunting were rewarding and exciting but the last evening on September 26, 2001 was the best. At 5 p.m., we set out on the six wheelers for the ridge we were going to hunt. We sat and listened until about 6:30 when we heard several bulls. We quickly moved into the area and set up on a trail that the guide knew quite well.

"Several big bulls have been killed here," he whispered.

What seemed to be forever came to a close when the bull was first sighted. We had already marked the ranges and had good cover. The bull would be only 20 yards if this worked as planned.

The bull worked up the ridge and came right into my shooting lane. Only he turned and came right toward me. At 12 yards he turned broadside and I let my broadhead-tipped carbon arrow fly. The arrow hit true and hard. The bull was hit in both lungs. Fifty yards later we heard a huge crash. He was down. This was my second bull and he was huge. After taking such a majestic animal, it’s hard to put the feelings of success into words.

Submitted by David Gonzalves
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